Two friends since the second grade, formed a musical duo back in high school and started writing lyrics over homemade beats. Fast forward to 2012, that duo is becoming a hot name in the lyrical hip-hop scene here in the Michigan music industry. Chaotic Concept has been spending countless hours behind the scenes learning the industry and making progress, not only musically but creating a large fan base.
With 2013 coming up, Chaotic Concept is looking towards the future. “We’re working on a bunch of projects right now. We have collaborations with underground producers from all over Europe, we have a concept album in the works, and we’re trying to get more active on the Ann Arbor scene. A lot music is in the works, and hopefully we’ll be doing a bunch of shows in the coming year,” said Syntaxx and JStro.
I had the chance to interview Chaotic Concept, we discussed everything from their future upcoming tours to how they utilize social media to interact with fans. Chaotic Concept is enjoying their new and growing reputation in the Michigan music industry.
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C: When did Chaotic Concept come together?
CC: We’ve been friends since 2nd grade, but we didn’t become Chaotic Concept until junior year of high school. After freestyling over old school beats for a couple of weeks, we decided to start writing and recording songs. We needed a name to attach to these recordings, and that’s when we became Chaotic Concept.
C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?
Syntaxx: All sorts of music. The first album I really tore up was Abbey Road. I listened to classic rock, Motown, jazz, and alternative/pop rock (I’m still obsessed with Third Eye Blind). The music I listened to when I was younger doesn’t have an obvious presence in the current sound but influenced me to be open to many genres. I got super into exploring music in high school and then I found an album by Mac Lethal called 11:11. That’s when I started my journey into hip-hop.
JStro: I grew in a very musical family, but my parents mainly listened to classical music at home. My uncle introduced me to classic rock like Cream, The Who, The Police…etc. and once I discovered that I began to listen to more current bands- I remember the Chili Peppers being my first “favorite” band. Hip-hop played a pretty minor role in my life until about age 14 when I discovered Talib Kweli, and then I was hooked.
C: Chaotic Concept in a few words, how would you describe the band’s musical sound?
CC: Lyrical, experimental, weird. We’re suburban kids telling stories over boom baps or confused poets running on a musical color wheel. It depends on the track.
C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?
CC: More than anything we try to tell stories. Some of our biggest influences are probably literary figures. Musically, however we pull from a wide-range of artists. In hip-hop, Blu, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, the Seattle scene, and Kendrick Lamar come to mind.
C: Chaotic Concept has gained quite a large following in the Midwest, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
CC: We’ve gained quite a following in the Midwest? Someone should have told us! We’re definitely still coming up in the industry, and it’s a challenging process. Lately we’ve been putting in a lot of work behind the scenes. Contacting producers/rapper/other artists for collaborations, trying to book shows, and marketing. There’s actually a lot to do behind the scenes, and we’re still learning about how it all works.
C: How would you guys as a band describe the Midwest music scene?
CC: It’s hard to label the scene, especially for hip-hop. The West Coast and East Coast have these iconic rappers and conjure very specific sounds. The Midwest has famous artists from Chicago and Detroit, but there’s so much outside of these cities. It’s a place that’s very open to various musical styles and fans adore artists. Your favorite act doesn’t roll through the Midwest as often as L.A. or New York, so when they come, we make sure to show love and prove that we can go as hard as the rest of them.
C: How do you all as a band feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
CC: Social media makes it really easy for potential listeners to connect with us quickly. Our music is instantly accessible all over the world for anyone with an Internet connection. In the last year almost 40% of the plays on our SoundCloud were from outside the United States. That’s an awesome feeling.
C: What does the future of the band hold?
CC: We’re working on a bunch of projects right now. We have collaborations with underground producers from all over Europe, we have a concept album in the works, and we’re trying to get more active on the Ann Arbor scene. A lot music is in the works, and hopefully we’ll be doing a bunch of shows in the coming year.